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Christmas: For All the People

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2021 9:00 pm

Christmas: For All the People

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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December 22, 2021 9:00 pm

Do you still get amazed at the birth story of Jesus? Trent Griffith paints a fresh picture of this message of "good news...for all the people.

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Listen to Trent's entire message here: Do You Hear What I Hear?

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This is David Robbins, president of family life and I just wanted to take a moment before get to today's program to invite you into an incredible opportunity we have this year and we have a matching gift challenge that several partners of family life have joined together and created so that we could do more ministry to more families in the years to come. And I hope you know the impact you have when you partner with family life. Check out one listener who called and shared her story more in love with Jesus Christ today and I was five years ago started listening and if I were a billionaire I give you $1 billion. I'm a poor widow woman I gotten so I'm given what I got.

So anyway bless all honey I oh man I love that first line that I am more in love with Jesus. That's what we're all about family life and I just want you to know that whatever you can do really matters. It helps us reach this $2 million matching gift challenge we have, and you can give the gift of family life and we are so grateful for the team of people that will come together and help us meet this match we are in need of more people partnering with us. I want to ask and invite you to join us because we want to help more homes fall more in love with Jesus. Some of the passage, David man, and I hope you enjoy growing closer to Jesus today. Good news brought you great joy. You haven't really heard it. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find his family life or on our family life, family life today I'm excited to know I'm really excited now is the first Christmas in 30 years. I haven't had to preach a Christmas message. It was wonderful but it feels really free to go into Christmas without having to do 12 Christmas services are 15 or 18 or whatever it was.

This is the first Christmas. You'll be home for Christmas he yeah because we always had the 11 PM to midnight Christmas service. But here's what we got going on today we get to listen to another pastor, Trent Griffith, who gave a Christmas message at his church gospel city church in Granger, Indiana. So I get to listen to another pastor preach a Christmas message and I feel like to especially this time of year when everything's hectic Christmas Eve is almost upon us, we always want to get our hearts back to the meaning of Christmas and that's Jesus and this message will do that so and some you know Trent and Andrea Griffith they been on our family life. We can remember marriage getaway speaker team we known them for over a decade and then the pastor there in Granger, Indiana.

So here's a Christmas message from Trent good morning I got my Bible open to Luke chapter 2 to the Christmas message and would invite you to open your Bible to that place as well.

Luke chapter 2 I noticed you probably been singing a lot of Christmas carols, a Christmas Carol is kind of captured my attention this Christmas season is the old Christmas Carol, do you hear what I hear, you know this Christmas Carol is best Christmas Carol, but he does have an important message. I am convinced that there are a lot of people who have heard the Christmas message who have never heard the Christmas message and I want to ask you this morning. Do you hear what I hear the first verse of that song actually asked do you use what I see. The third verse starts. What do you know what I know in the last one says listen to what I say. I think a preacher wrote that song he had written that song actually was written by a couple, you would think it would be really old Christmas Carol.

It's really not that old.

It was written in 1962. It was written during the Cuban missile crisis in the couple he wrote this song were looking for a song to communicate the message of peace at a time when we were on the verge of nuclear destruction nation's war against nation men against men and all the conflict and the lack of peace they wanted a song to communicate. Pray for peace, people everywhere right so that is really the message of Christmas. Now, this morning is what I want to ask you. I want you to hear the Christmas message.

Whether it's the first time or what you've heard all of your life. I want you to hear it with different ears.

Okay, so three things were to say today.

First of all, you have to listen for the right messengers. If you're going to hear the Christmas message have to listen for the right messengers. Secondly, you have to listen for the right message. Thirdly, you have to listen with your heart. So that's where were going today and will just jump right into the historical context of the story right here in Luke chapter 2 picking up in verse one says in those days that you realize there are no wasted words in the Bible right. Notice it doesn't say Once upon a time because fairytales begin with. Once upon a time the human author.

Luke is trying to tell us this really happened particular days were there to kill her ruling parties in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria honey like that for nice Christmas messaging anybody memorize those verses that would seem to be trivial, but it's not he's telling us that the birth of Christ happen at a point in history this guy Caesar Augustus that was actually kind of a title we can like Pres.

The guy's name was actually JES Octavius. The radius anybody looking for baby names. You can pick one of those. It happened that the governor of Syria. Was Quirinius at the time. Now all of this stuff can be traced back to historical setting there in the sky was a godless guy. These guys had no understanding of like the promised Messiah and all the human in all the Old Testament, but at the time, God's people were being oppressed and ruled by godless people. So if you're ever in a season reflector being ruled by godless authorities. Just understand God is in complete control and at times he will use godless authorities to pull off wonderful events in your life. Take note verse three and all went to be registered each to his own town and Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, the city of David, which is called a ham because he was of the house and lineage of David story from last week. We have Mary got a visit from an angel. She's betrothed to Joseph, and Joseph lease this couples living in the northern area of Israel around Galilee and all of a sudden this godless ruler says everybody has to go back home so Joseph is okay. We got to go back home. Well, where did Joseph happen to be from he happened to be from this place called Aslan. So God orchestrates the events through godless rulers to get Jesus to the place where he was predicted to be born hundreds of years before all this happened. As a matter fact back in the Old Testament in the book of Micah chapter 5 verse two it says this but you owe Bethlehem for a top who are too little to be among the clans of Judah from you shall come forth for me, one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth east from old from ancient of days, only one person in human history that fits that description Jesus someone who is coming from eternity past, from of all ancient days, who would be born at the exact time in the exact spot where Jay is Tapia's rent is set. Everybody had to go home. Amazing how God works in human history.

The story continues in verse six, and while they were there, the time came for her to give birth and she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger manger I was with a manger scene the majors, not the whole scene. The manger is a feeding trough and so she used an animal feeding trough as a Crip. Little did she know at the time that would be the first earthly throne of what would become the king of Israel, the King of Kings.

By the way, that's not the last throne. He's going to occupy the next time he comes he's not going to be laid in a manger to come to sit on the throne of the universe and so he says he was laid in a manger, because there was no place for him in the in RI so because everybody was going back home.

It was like a Notre Dame football home weekend okay all the air B&Bs have been filled up.

There was no room in the hotels or anything like that and so there is no remaining on the innkeeper gets a bad rap in the story everybody looks the incapable. Why couldn't you find any more room for Jesus. I think the innkeeper would look back at you like what did you find any more room for Jesus you look at your schedule lately. Have you looked at your bank account how much room in your budget you have for Jesus, how much room in your schedule.

Do you have for Jesus before you ask why couldn't the innkeeper find more room in his in you might want to ask the question why can't you find any more room in your heart for Jesus. If you want to hear the Christmas best have to listen for the right messengers are. So here's the messengers beginning in verse eight and in the same region there were shepherds everybody underline were shepherds in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night when I went Israel actually went to that field.

You can see how this would be a great setting for angels to show up and that's exactly what happened in verse nine, an angel of the Lord appeared to them everybody underline the word angel in verse nine, an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear and the angel said to them, or not, for behold I bring you good news.

The two words good news.

Their action comes from one word in the Greek it's the word eventually so we get our word evangelism from that word, we get our word of angelical from that word by the way evangelical is not a voting block. Evangelical is a group of people who believe the good news around Jesus. That's where we get our word. The gospel we believe the good news of the gospel and good news brings us notice great joy that will be for all the people. If the good news has brought you great joy. You haven't really heard it. If you want to hear it. Got a listen for the right messengers.

Verse 11 for unto you is born this day in the city of David Bethlehem was known as the city of David, because David greatest king, humanly speaking in the Old Testament was born in Bethlehem. Keep that in mind, Jesus is born in the same place as the greatest king in Israel. David was born in Bethlehem, he says, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord noticed the titles the angel gives to Jesus both Savior and Lord.

A lot of people that think somehow you can receive Jesus as your Savior and reject him as Lord, and I really want to go to heaven when I die, wanting to save me from all of my sin and the consequences of my sin. But I really don't want to live for and I don't want to put my life under his Lordship, you can't do that. He is both Savior and Lord.

If you reject him as your Lord he will reject you from being your Savior.

You have to receive him as both Savior and Lord. Because that's who he is and so it says in verse 12 this will be a sign for you.

You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger and suddenly there was with Juan Angel, a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased to groups of messengers here.

First of all, we have the Angels come in if you wish you could be visited by an angel, was a Christmas Angel would show up and like fill in all the blanks in solve all of the problems that the pastor can solve for you the pastor wishes an angel would show up in solve those problems for me to but everybody wants to get a visit from an angel, but the reality is listless. There are very few people in human history that ever got visited by an angel. If you are waiting for an angel to show up to answer all of your questions and convince you of realities that you can't figure out by listening to normal messages from God. You can be waiting a long time.

I doubt anybody in this room is going to get a visit from an angel. Everybody wants a visit from an angel. Here's the message of Christmas though.

We want angels, God gives us shepherds think about the shepherds, the shepherds were the exact opposite of angels.

Angels are majestic and they're perfect and they're glorious and they smell good, and shepherds smell like she never smell the sheep. Not a great smell so here the shepherds know all the shepherds did was hang out with sheep in a field deal wine because they'd been rejected by everybody else. One of the highest values in Jewish culture was cleanliness instantly shepherds that couldn't be in the place of worship, they couldn't go to the tabernacle because they were considered unclean. They were the outcast that was the occupation that everybody needed and nobody wanted to have. There was one advantage of being a shepherd. You got to spend a lot of time undistracted they were just hanging out in the field with sheep.

That means they could get really contemplative you wish you could have more time alone just to sit and think about life, about God, about yourself, about the Scripture that was an advantage that shepherds had see that even if you are out in the field watching over your flock by night.

You only had three people you could possibly talk to you can talk to the sheep you talk to yourself or you talk God did of the biggest book that we have in the Old Testament is the book of Psalms you wrote most of the Psalms, a shepherd was David and what we have is some of the most poetic and artistic and contemplative thoughts in our Bibles about God when you think you wrote those things was talking to a sheet or God, and in those moments he could get really contemplative and so if you want to get a message from God. You might want to become more like the shepherd you might even need to go sit out in the field somewhere without your cell phone and just sit and contemplate the deep thoughts about God, the shepherds were perfect candidates to get a message from God. They were rejected by everybody else. They were needy. They were lonely they needed a Savior thought about this. Why didn't the Angels go show up at JS Octavius. The radius's house coming if he would've got the message. I'm sure he could've disseminated everything everybody right.

The Angels didn't go to the most prestigious and went to the lowest you know what the messages the Gospels for every body no matter what your socioeconomic status you can hear a message from God messages from God come to people who think their nobodies and it's the nobodies that God wants to use to get the message to every body and that's exactly what the shepherds did and so we want angels, but gives us shepherds if you were living back in that day and the shepherds showed up to tell you about the message that they got from an angel that the angel got from God quick would you be to dismiss the shepherds because they didn't smell good, or they weren't educated or they warning your same socioeconomic level, or maybe you realize these guys have so many gaps and flaws in their character that somehow the message.

Their preaching can't be true.

Do you have any shepherds that have tried to get the message to you mom and dad a faithful grandma, grandpa, maybe a friend or a neighbor, husband or wife, or maybe even some pastors that have tried to communicate the message of Christmas to you and you rejected the message because you couldn't get past the flaws of the messenger that's a mistake.

God is always going to give you flawed messengers to deliver a truthful message again.

If you're waiting for an angel is probably not going to happen. You know that in the New Testament, the actual word for pastor is the same word for shepherd overseers and God tells us that there are qualifications there standards for messengers and pastors to be shepherds of their people.

If your small group leader if your flock later if if you shepherd kids and harvest kids are in the youth ministry or college there standards for us to have this role of shepherds modify we see this in first Peter chapter 5 were told those of us that have the responsibility of pastoring, we are told to shepherd the flock of God that is among us, exercising oversight. That means we have to be watchful.

We have to protect you from danger. We have to warn you for making wrong decisions that your going to regret what shepherd dust goes after the sheep, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly. In other words, not because we have to, because we want to as God would have you not for shameful gain, but eagerly not domineering over those in your charge bopping you over the head and dragging you back and forcing you to do something you didn't want in the first place. But being examples to the flock. In other words, unlock in this way, y'all come. That's what shepherd does. I know the way. Follow me a shepherd feeds the sheep and leads the sheep, I'm gathered all of our staff together and I got an announcement to make for you in church this morning. I've examined all of the shepherds in our church there all flaw there are all sinners and they would all tell you that about me okay so listen if you're rejecting the message of Christmas because of the flaws in the character gaps in the messenger you just got in rejected forever. Again, there are biblical standards and qualifications for shepherds that we must all meet and and so for that reason I'm gathered all the pastors and shepherds in our church and like look before you know by this verse were going to need to have some agreement about the way we live the way that we do ministry and I gave them recently. The seven core values. If you're going to serve as a pastor in our church, you have to meet these particular core values and so we all agreed.

Let me tell you the first one that we all agreed to as your shepherds. Okay, here it is.

We will authenticate the message that we preach. In other words, we are going to be authentic followers of Jesus, and if we are going to preach to you where going to actually try to live the message that were preaching. What a novel idea that we would actually want to like not require anything of you that we would require of ourselves so we agree to these things, we will believe and preach the gospel to ourselves first before we try to fill your ear with this software can actually fill our ears with his word preaching to herself every day were to be a model of the message with humility. Implicit shepherds are not an exalted role. It's a servant role and so with humility. Understanding the weightiness of the call of God to be a shepherd and I would invite you if your small group leader you shepherd anybody. If your father, a mother, you have little sheep in your home. You have to embrace that role with humility.

We will be maturing disciples of Jesus pretty big on the idea of making disciples around here before we try to make one.

We want to be one and we will confess and repent. When we blow it and we will blow it so that is something that shepherds need to have in their life. If they're going to communicate a message that's believable. But on the flipside of that, nobody's ever to get that right. Don't reject the message because of the gaps and flaws in the messenger To listen for the right messengers. Everybody wants angels, God's going to give you flawed shepherd.

We've been listening to Trent Griffin as he's been sharing with us the Christmas story and really a new perspective in that last sentence was good yeah I mean I think we do want spectacular. You know, angels, and so often the message of Christmas. One of things is so beautiful, but it is so humble you would not expect the God of all creation to enter the world as a baby you would not expect the message of Christmas to come through shepherds who were nobody's like to because we are all flied. I think of me as a mom and sometimes I can feel the most guilty Christmas time because I haven't been what I've needed to be to my kids to my parents to my husband and yet Jesus works in and through us even in our flawed nature.

And that's a powerful and beautiful thing.

What am Wilson was just talking about the pressure we can feel at Christmas to want everything to go right everything to live up to everyone's expectations everything to be spectacular and glorious.

That's a pressure that is not coming to us from God. It's coming from somewhere else and I think we need to remember that the most important thing about our celebration of Christmas is that all of us are able to focus our hearts on the great gift that was given to us. When God gave his son. I hope that your Christmas celebration. Whoever you're celebrating with with your family or extended family whoever's together you will make sure there is time to rejoice and to thank God for his indescribable gift, which is what Christmas is ultimately all about. If you would like to hear Trent Griffin's message in its entirety may be something you can play together for the family at Christmas, go to our website.

Family life there's an MP3 of the message available for download again. Our website is family life now with Christmas just hours away. At this point I'm sure you have gone back over your list of people for whom you are getting gifts. I remember the year we didn't do that Christmas morning one of our kids did not have a gift from us. Talk about your heartbreaking as a parent for child on Christmas morning to be the only one of five do not have a gift under the tree. We had some makeup work to do for that. I hope that is your thinking about giftgiving and making sure you got everybody included on the list. I hope you have considered a special year-end gift for us at family life. If God used this ministry in your life this year.

Would you consider making a year-end donation so that we can begin the new year and a solid place financially. That's what were asking you to help us do. And when you give today whatever amount you give is can be matched dollar for dollar up to a total of now. $2.3 million. That's how much money is in our matching gift fund and were hoping to take full advantage of that in the days ahead. You can give easily or you can call to donate at one 800, FL, today we have a special thank you gift would like to send you when you make a donation today.

It's a devotional book from the book of Psalms hundred and 50 devotions written by Dana Portland. The book is called in the Lord. I take refuge, will send it out to you as our way of saying thank you for your donation and as a way to help build into your life and your family spiritually in the days ahead. Again thanks in advance for whatever you're able to do in making a year-end gift to support this ministry.

We appreciate you and we hope you can join us again tomorrow. On Christmas Eve, when we will hear part two of Trent Griffin's message about Christmas. Do you hear what I hear comes up tomorrow on behalf of our host Steven M Wilson on bobble team will seal them for another edition of family life today.

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